DECATUR — Terrica L. Patterson, the Decatur mother who police say slapped her 7-year-old son so hard she left a handprint-shaped bruise on his face, was sentenced to 24 months probation on Tuesday.

Patterson, 29, pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated battery of a child causing bodily harm, a Class 3 felony. Her case had been set to go to a jury trial before she took a plea deal negotiated by her defense attorney, Timothy Tighe, that saw two charges of domestic battery involving bodily harm and physical contact dismissed. She could have faced up to five years in prison if convicted.

In addition to the probation, Macon County Circuit Judge Thomas Griffith ordered Patterson to undergo a mental health evaluation and complete any recommended treatment, and cooperate with any recommendations from the Department of Children and Family Services, including parenting classes. She must also pay $250 to have her DNA indexed and register under the Violent Offender Against Youth Act.

A Decatur police sworn affidavit about the case said the child had shown up at school April 10 with the bruising disfiguring his left eye and the left side of his face. Teachers called DCFS and the police.

“The bruising was clearly in the pattern of a hand with finger marks,” the affidavit had said.

Police documented the injury with photographs and asked the child why his mother had hit him so hard. “He said she was mad at him for not cleaning his room and receiving a bad report from school,” he was quoted as replying.

This story will be updated. 

PHOTOS: 2018 mug shots from the Herald & Review

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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


Macon County Courts Reporter

Macon County courts reporter for the Herald & Review.

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